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Kay Saunders at book signing party,
Conkey’s Bookstore, Appleton, Wisconsin


in memoriam


The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and especially the Central Fox Valley region will miss Kay Saunders, who died December 8, 2003, with her family at her side. She had been a Fox Valley resident for over 50 years. In her lifetime, Kay published five books: A Whippoorwill Calls for Memories, Gift of the Strangers, Only the Footprints are Gone, Pluck, and Letters from the Other Side: The Gift of Flannery O’Connor. She also wrote numerous poems, articles, essays and short stories, which were published in magazines, journals and newspapers. Kay was a correspondent for the Catholic newspaper, The Compass, for over 20 years and a creative writing instructor for Elderhostel at Treehaven for more than 15 years. With Helen Fahrbach, Kay organized the Tuesday night poetry readings at Conkey’s Book Store. Kay was instrumental in the organization of Noonhour Philosophers. She was also a member of the National Association of Poetry Therapy, Sacré Coeur Book Club, Wisconsin Regional Writers Association, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, Catholic Daughters of America, the Flannery O’Connor Society of Shreveport, Louisiana, and the Fox Valley Writer’s Club.

A member of WFOP for 40+ years, Kay served the Fellowship as Regional Vice President: Central Fox Valley for more than 15 of those years. Kay loved to encourage new poets, young and old. She was a frequent conference participant, often taking copious notes from speakers she thought had something important to offer. Kay was a joyous and soft-spoken woman who gave much to those who knew her. Many Fox Valley poets are grateful for her support.

A memorial fund has been established in Kay’s name that will benefit the Fellowship with a contest devoted to new and emerging poets.

Excerpted from the Spring 2004 issue of WFOP Museletter.